Workers’ Compensation: Words to Know

Employees in the State of Minnesota are protected by the principle that employers owe a duty to provide a safe and hazard free work environment.

Suffering a physical injury places your livelihood at risk no matter where it happens. However, when your livelihood is placed at risk simply because you were attempting to do your job in an unsafe environment, the law recognizes that this is more than unfair.

From this simple concept the system of workers’ compensation was developed. This system guarantees that employees in the state of Minnesota will be protected by the insurance that their employers are legally required to carry. The sole purpose of this insurance is to cover the expenses of an injured employee who sustains that injury on the job.


As any product of legislation tends to be, the workers’ compensation system can seem complex and slightly overwhelming at first.

If you are going through the system for the first or second time, you are probably unfamiliar with many of the basic terms used in workers’ compensation claims. This list of basic vocabulary will help you to understand the process and terms that go along with seeking recovery under the workers’ compensation system.

  • No-Fault – Minnesota’s workers’ compensation claims are made on a “no-fault” basis. This means that it is not required that an employee show fault of any kind to make a claim. The employee does not need to show that his employer was at fault and the employer cannot defend a claim by showing that the employees were at fault for their own injuries.
  • Substantial Contributing Factor – This is the language you may see if your injury did not initially take place at work. When you have injured yourself in a non-work-related activity and later your work aggravates that initial injury, you may still have a claim for workers’ compensation. All that is required under Minnesota law is that you are able to prove that the activities in the course of your employment were a “substantial contributing factor” to your injury. This is commonly the case where a work activity requires repetitive movement.
  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – The insurance company pays out TTD benefits to the employee during the time the employee is completely unable to work, as a result of an on-the-job injury. Generally this amount will total two-thirds of the employee’s gross weekly wage at the time the injury took place. Receiving TTD benefits does not have an effect on the employee receiving coverage for medical costs. All “reasonable and necessary” medical costs will be paid to the employee in addition to TTD. This includes any treatment, surgical procedure, medication, or therapy a doctor deems necessary for the recovery of the employee.\


These terms shed light on the operation of the workers’ compensation system, but they only cover the basics. If you have been injured as a result of a workplace hazard, contact the experienced attorneys at  Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Offices today. Or call 507-200-8959.

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